Melrose Diner

Philadelphia, PA

The second day of our adventure brought us to Philadelphia, where we got the low down from our server, Mike, and a sweet surprise. You’ll have to wait for the Diner Porn book to find out what it was!

Sayville Modern Diner

Sayville, NY

The day after Thanksgiving, you relax around the house all morning. Door-busting Black Friday deals aren’t exactly enticing—mostly because you’d have to get out of your pajamas. But when Dad calls and says he took a half-day to take you for lunch at the diner, you throw on a jacket and you’re out the door.


The Modern Diner in Sayville is a piece of history. Its retro decor boasts murals depicting ‘50s sock hops, original Lucky Strike magazine ads (Don Draper style), sparkling emerald pleather booths, and worn Formica tables.

As your waitress sets your table, she tells you that you look just like her grandkids— “so handsome!” When you quickly order a basic turkey sandwich, she persuades you to take a few minutes to find something you really want. And she’s totally right—the Reuben panini melt is worth the extra wait.

The fading November sun beams through the blinds, falling over crispy golden fries, bubbling chili, and glistening green pickles. You don’t have your camera, so you snap a few photos with your phone, hoping they capture the unique beauty of this place. Dad pays the bill and you leave a hefty tip for your sassy waitress before heading back out into the cold, full, caffeinated, and cheerful. It’s hard not to be in a place like this.